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Thursday, July 18, 2024 | Back issues
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Fired for Doing His Job, Accountant Says

DALLAS (CN) - Robert Half International and AccounTemps, a staffing firm, fired an accountant for reporting the misappropriation of millions of dollars in mortgage customer money, the man claims in court.

Charles Blakley sued the two firms and Irving-based mortgage lender Caliber Funding LLC & Associates, in Dallas County Court.

In his pro se complaint, Blakley claims that as a senior accountant for the three defendants, he discovered "unusual Caliber corporate errors and/or improprieties with Caliber homeowner HUD-1 closing cost interest accrual charges and calculations."

He claims the defendants called the errors or improprieties "systemic issues" that would be fixed.

Blakley claims the defendants used borrower money for Caliber's corporate expenditures.

He claims he uncover and diagnose "various Caliber accounting improprieties, misapplication of homeowner-specific funds, misappropriation of homeowner- specific funds, errors and other universal corporate improprieties that needed to be escalated to an independent audit body."

"Specifically, defendants misappropriated customer/borrower mortgage insurance premiums diverting those funds into Caliber operational accounts not authorized by customers/borrowers," Blakley says in the complaint.

He claims he informed the defendants several times that the activity was illegal.

On Nov. 21, 2012, after he refused to sign off on journal entries and portfolio statements relating to Caliber's mortgage insurance premium and appraisal activities, the defendants' employees became "infuriated," Blakley says.

He says Caliber fired him that day for refusing to sign the fraudulent statements.

"Caliber collusively conspired with RHI to hide, smear and cover up the circumstances surrounding the details for wrongful termination of the plaintiff," the complaint states.

"Defendants gave knowingly false and reckless statements to independent investigators involving the plaintiff's employment."

He says the defendants claim, falsely, that he was not fired, but that he quit by "walking out on his shift after yelling and being unprofessional while Caliber customers were present."

"Furthermore, defendants egregiously asserted plaintiff assaulted an employee on his way out of the offices on the day he was terminated," the complaint states. "Defendants' outrageous assertions about the plaintiff quitting on November 16, 2012, and plaintiff's egregious misconduct were proven to be patently false and utterly unfounded which an independent investigation agreed and sided with the plaintiff in December 2012."

A Robert Half spokeswoman declined to comment.

Blakley seeks actual and punitive damages for wrongful termination, conspiracy, defamation and negligence.

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